What Lies Beneath

We humans are the most fascinating creatures…We may be going through some really tough times financially, physically, or even emotionally but no one would ever know. Nope, the world is clueless because we are the masters of disguise.

I was reminded of this one day when Richard said, “How ‘Bout A Cup of Coffee” and we headed to the pier to have our afternoon chat. It was windy that day and the waters were a little choppy. I remember thinking to myself…Wow, even though the water is a little rough no one would ever know…

What Lies Beneath

By watching the video below you will understand exactly what I mean!

For the fish in the video, it only takes is a little food to bring them to the surface. You see, they are hungry and under those somewhat calm waters they are scurrying around trying to find that which satisfies their hunger…

We are much the same. We as humans tend to flounder around seeking that which satisfies the emotional hunger in us. To fill the void we buy cars, boats, clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and even enter into unhealthy relationships. That hunger for affection, acceptance or even success can drive us to unhealthy measures in efforts to quiet the turmoil within.

While our physical hunger can be met by the right choices in food, satiety can be obtained for our emotional hunger. In order to recognize what your hungry for, you must…

  • Remove those toxic relationships from your daily life. It is so important to clear out  those negative influences; the ones that drag you down and keep your life in constant turmoil. The relationships that cloud your view of what’s above the chaos.
  • Build healthy relationships. Foster those type relationships that build you up, support you, hold you accountable, and encourage you to be the best you can be. The relationships that keep you from drowning by holding you up and keeping your head above water
  • Be the perfect example of the type of person you are seeking to associate yourself with. Like attracts like so if you want
    • To be treated with kindness…show kindness
    • To be loved…love
    • To be shown respect..respect
    • To be included…include

I could go on forever but I think you get my drift..We can actually satisfy our  hunger by feeding those around us. In doing so we no longer have to feed on the bottom of the lake but instead we actually get to eat the good stuff. We are no longer subjected to the chaos, turmoil, confusion, or unrest…

What Lies Beneath!

If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. Isaiah 58:10

Signature 4

13912342_10204986796549643_3844331040066393600_n

How ‘Bout A Cup of Coffee?

fullsizeoutput_252c

Richard and I have always enjoyed coffee in the morning but it was in 2005 I learned to appreciate afternoon coffee. I even remember the exact moment our afternoon coffee ritual began…

We were living in Jones Creek, Richard was swinging on the porch swing and I was sweeping the patio when he said, “Baby, come sit with me and have a cup of coffee”. It was in that very moment I realized my husband didn’t care if the patio was swept…He desired my company and wanted my undivided attention. We sat in that swing for the longest time talking, laughing, and just loving each other.

The next day, I was working in the flowerbeds when I looked up and there was my precious husband holding two cups of coffee and he says, “How ’bout a cup of coffee”. I took off my gloves, set the rake aside, and made my way to the swing where we sat and once again shared memories of the girls, talked of the joys of being grandparents, and planned our future projects. Each day we would sit and have afternoon coffee and before I realized it, we had established a routine. Then, on the days he had to work I found myself craving a cup of coffee and our “together time”.

While that patio was one of my most favorite places to sit together, we have since found many places we love to have our afternoon coffee…floating in the pool, sitting by a camp fire, riding on a golf cart, sitting in the park, or our most recent…Sitting on a pier overlooking the lake at our daughter and son-in-laws home.

For Richard and me, coffee has become the code word for quality time. He recognized his “worker bee/ results oriented” wife did not know how or was ever allowed to just sit and relax. Not only did he teach me the art of relaxing, he also showed me the value of quality time, the importance of communication, how to dream and plan for the future. Richard believed in me and invested in me and while drinking coffee we have become closer friends.

Is there someone in your life worth investing your time in…someone you want to be closer to? A sister, brother, parent, friend, classmate, or co-worker?

Perhaps all you need to do is ask them…

“How ‘Bout A Cup of Coffee?”

Be ready…Some may not be willing to allow you to get close to them while others may try to suck the life right out of you. You will never know if your investment of time will be worth it unless you are willing to test the waters while visiting over that first cup of coffee…

Signature 4

13912342_10204986796549643_3844331040066393600_n

More Powerful Than Any Drug

drugs

Do you ever wonder how generations past managed to survive without all the drugs we have access to now?We now have medications for just about whatever ails you:

  • Pain
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiousness
  • Food sensitivities
  • Allergies
  • Irregular heart rate
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure

In addition there are medications to help you stop:

  • Smoking
  • Putting on weight
  • Drinking
  • Doing recreational drugs
  • Laying in bed awake at night

You get my drift…

While watching a movie recently, “Awakening” based on a true story. Dr. Sayer played by Robin Williams makes the most profound statement ever…Sent chills over my entire body when I heard it.

“The human spirit is more powerful than any drug – and that’s what needs to be nourished.”

So, what is the human spirit? It is the ability to think, feel, love, design, create, and enjoy music, humor, and art. And it is because of the human spirit that we have a “free will” that no other creature on earth has.

So, if you think about it…When you can REALLY think, feel, love, design, create, and enjoy those things which God has given us for pleasure we have a tool at our disposal more powerful than drugs. Unfortunately for many life has become so complex and complicated. We get so stressed and overwhelmed that soon we begin to develop physical and emotional problems and turn to drugs first.

For many hearing this is a difficult pill to swallow…It is easier to grab an actual pill and go for the quick fix. However, I would like to recommend…

  • Prayer
  • Meditation
  • Listening to Music
  • Nature
  • Peaceful walks
  • Finding beauty in the little things
  • Verbalizing or demonstrating gratitude
  • Sing
  • Play
  • Dance
  • Spend time with a child
  • Volunteer
  • Spend time with those who lift you up rather than bring you down

You will find any of these activities to be…

MORE POWERFUL THAN ANY DRUG

Signature 4

13912342_10204986796549643_3844331040066393600_n

Do We Really Love?

1-corinthians-13-4-love-is-patient-red-copy

When is the last time you said “I Love You”? Did you mean it? I mean did you really mean it? So many people say “I love you” giving no thought to the true meaning of love.

Really, think about it…Do you actions match your words?  Love is not a verb…It is a noun. Love is an intense feeling of deep affection and when the intense feeling is present there is:

  • Patience even when you want to rip someone’s head off
  • Kindness even for the meanest and most undesirable person
  • No envious thoughts no matter how bad you want ____ (you fill in the blank)
  • No boasting even though you are about to burst with excitement
  • No conceit despite how proud you are of ____ (you fill in the blank)

So, the short of it is…

If we say “I Love You” while harboring or expressing any of the following:

  • The opposite of patience
    • Agitation
    • Cowardice
    • Indifference
    • Resistance
    • Impatience
    • Intolerance
  • The opposite of kindness
    • Animosity
    • Hatred
    • Hostility
    • Ill will
    • Indecency
    • Indifference
    • Intolerance
    • Meanness
    • Mercilessness
    • Selfishness
    • Thoughtlessness
    • Cruelty
    • Harshness
  • The opposite of no enviousness (Contentedness)
    • Hatred
    • Ill will
    • Malice
    • Resentment
    • Coveting
    • Spite
    • Opposition
    • Resentfulness
    • Lusting
  • The opposite of no boasting (being modest)
    • Gloat
    • Grandstand
    • Blow one’s own horn
  • The opposite of not conceited
    • Arrogant
    • Cocky
    • Full of Hot Air
    • Ham
    • Know-it-all
    • Loud mouth
    • Narcissistic
    • Self-important
    • Stuck up

Do We Really Love?

I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it!

Signature 4

13912342_10204986796549643_3844331040066393600_n

It Has Been A Hard Year

happy-new-year

Saying goodbye to 2016 will be one of the easiest things we could ever do!  This has been the hardest year of our adult life!!

The hard stuff started with Richard working a 100 day shut down. As if working shift work was not hard enough on both of us…The plant expected him to work 12/12’s in a row, take one day off, and return to work on the 14th day. Supper tough when transitioning from night shift to day shift as he slept his days off away!

Then, we decided to sell our home. Our grandson’s wife came in and helped us sell most of our furniture and interior decor only to discover our contract fell through…The buyers backed out! So, I redecorated the whole house again. Soon after we were settled in, our daughter and son-in-law approached us with a plan to downsize our lives and build a smaller more efficient home. After much discussion we were all in and placed the house on the market again. Before we knew it the house was sold and we were moving all our belongings into storage and we moved in with our daughter and son-in-law. Yep, that was the plan…Live with the kids while we built a house.

We found our land, our builder, and the process was in full motion! We worked the land, installed the culverts, obtained permits, had the electricity ran and we were well on our way then the neighborhood flooded. While where the house would sit was above the flood plain the roads to our land was under water. The flood delayed the building process and provided us more time with the kids. Then on July 30th our son-in-law presented an alternate plan…”Why don’t you just live with us rather than build? It just makes sense” he said. He offered us the second story of their home and again, after much discussion we were on board! He relocated his game room and we moved upstairs!

Also, during that same time Richard took a new job! He was finally going to be able to work Monday-Friday with weekend and holidays off. Woohoo…I had waited over 28yrs for a “Normal” life!!!

So, with us simplifying our lives and reducing our cost of living, I decided to retire. I gave my notice on August 1st. One day later we learned of our oldest daughter’s death. Tori lived in Austin and had passed away on July 31st but because we had move, they had a difficult time locating us. Our world as we knew it was rocked to the core and a giant hole was carved out of our hearts…The following days and weeks were a daze. We had a memorial service for Tori and celebrated her precious life. I am not sure we would have made it through those days without the support of Brandi, Robi, Cheyenne, and the kind words from family and friends.

Soon we realized we needed to get back to some resemblance of a life so we started the daunting task of emptying the storage buildings…4 of them to be exact! It was good to have something to keep our minds occupied because our hearts were aching! We sold, donated, and gifted people with our “stuff” by the trailer loads!  It was hard to believe all we had worked for our entire married life was gone in less than 2 months!!!

Once we finished all the hard work of downsizing we decided to buy a 5th wheel so we could do a little traveling. Richard’s schedule was 4/10’s with every Fri, Sat, and Sun off which was perfect for some weekend traveling! That is until what would be a 3yr assignment turned into 3 months and he finds himself without work.

To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3

While 2016 has been filled with mourning and despair, God has been faithful and provided us with beauty for ashes:

  • We have a gift of a lifetime given to us by our daughter and son-in-law. One of family, love, laughter, and simplicity
  • We have witnessed our granddaughter Cheyenne enjoy being drum major this year
  • We have an income and our financial needs are met
  • We have a home
  • We have each other
  • We know we WILL see Tori again

It Has Been A Hard Year…But God has held us Beneath His Sheltering Wings and Close to His Heart and His Promises Are My Hope for 2017

We wish you a Healthy, Happy, and Prosperous New Year Logo

Love,

Richard & Lee

fullsizeoutput_2469

Who Are You Listening To?

It’s the first real cool snap of Fall 2016 and though Richard and I are not fans of cold weather we made ourselves  get up and get moving yesterday morning. Walking shoes, sweat pants, jacket, and we are off…But wait, I forgot my earbuds and music!!! Back up the stairs I go, grab my earbuds and phone. Now, we are off for our morning walk.

I am sure you are thinking…But your waking with Richard, why do you need earbuds? How can you visit if you are listening to music? Well, the answer is quite simple…I am a woman. I can walk, talk and listen all at the same time!!! And I love my music!!! So, to ensure I am able hear Richard and the music, I wear only one earbud.

Richard was walking on my left and it was during one of his silent moments, I heard these words in my right ear…

(Click To Listen Too)

Dear younger me
Where do I start
If I could tell you everything that I have learned so far
Then you could be
One step ahead
Of all the painful memories still running thru my head
I wonder how much different things would be
Dear younger me,
Dear younger me
I cannot decide
Do I give some speech about how to get the most out of your life
Or do I go deep
And try to change
The choices that you’ll make cuz they’re choices that made me
Even though I love this crazy life
Sometimes I wish it was a smoother ride
Dear younger me, dear younger me
If I knew then what I know now
Condemnation would’ve had no power
My joy my pain would’ve never been my worth
If I knew then what I know now
Would’ve not been hard to figure out
What I would’ve changed if I had heard
Dear younger me
It’s not your fault
You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross
Dear younger me
You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed
Every mountain every valley
Thru each heartache you will see
Every moment brings you closer
To who you were meant to be
Dear younger me, dear younger me
You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed
You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed
You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed
These words penetrated my entire being…I really heard them for the very first time!!!
Oh the things that would have been different if I could have whispered in the ear of the younger me…
While I have lived with much guilt, I have lived with even more regret…
I Regret
  • Not listening closer to the stories my parents and grandparents told me growing up
  • Not getting my college education prior to having my children. I regret putting them through that!
  • Not rocking my children more (there’s a story behind that one)
  • Not thinking before speaking when angry
  • Not reading to my children more
  • Not giving my children what they needed most…My full attention
  • Not taking more pictures

This list could go on for days…So many regrets have haunted me but yesterday I realized,

“Every mountain every valley
Thru each heartache you will see
Every moment brings you closer
To who you were meant to be
Dear younger me, dear younger me”

Today, I reflect back on the words of the song “Dear Younger Me” and realize, I needed to hear that voice in my ear…The one that said to me,

dear-younger-me

Who’s voice is whispering in your ear?

Who Are You Listening To?

Love Lee  Logo

13912342_10204986796549643_3844331040066393600_n

 

A Love Lee Design

preview

Yes, you read the title right! Now that I have had time to rest after retiring from my nursing career, I am eager to get back to fostering my creative side again. I have missed being spontaneous; waking up each morning to work on or plan my next project. You see it makes perfect sense because it is part of who I am… The Word says I was created in my Father’s image and let me tell you…He is the ultimate at being creative!!!

So, I knew what I wanted to do but so many questions began to flood my mind…

  • What am I most passionate about?
  • What shall I create?
  • Where do I start?
  • Who will be interested?
  • What if I’m not good enough?

Whoa…Strike that last question! There will always be doubters and those who just won’t like me or my work. In fact that reminds me of the piece I wrote on “How Juicy Do We Want to Be”. Yep, if He births a passion within me, then I know it will be good enough because…He is the One who gifted me and placed a desire in my heart to get back to being creative.

So, I sat and read over my list and I asked myself over and over…What am I most passionate about? Then like a ton of bricks it hit me!!! Other than God and my family which is a given…I realized the thing I am most passionate about is HOME! Of Course it is my Passion…HOME! I love everything about HOME!!!

Hmmm…OK, so now what? Funny how God works,  He didn’t make me wait long for that answer and he chose the perfect person to plant the seed…My dear friend Pam Stuckey is equally passionate about her home as I am mine. In-fact, our husbands shudder at the thought of us going to Hobby Lobby together! In a conversation with Pam she said, “You know, not everyone has the ability or vision for design. Would you consider helping me build Barndominiums?”. Well, after much discussion I was in and we were on our way! Pam consults on the build and I consult on the design of the floor plan, surfaces, color schemes, and flooring…Making the client’s Pinterest dreams come true!

In addition to making dreams come true for new builders, there are a lot of women who have commented, “I would love for you to help me decorate my house.” or “I wish you would give my house an overhaul.” or ” Would you consider staging my house for me so it will sale faster?”. Hmmm…More seeds planted and I have decided to nurture them and watch them grow. So, now I am expanding my services to include:

  • Re-Design by incorporating what you already have to create a whole new look by
    • Re-arranging furnitures
    • Re-hanging art
    • Changing the placement of accent pieces
  • New Design…Out with the old and in with the new. After a consultation visit to determine budget and your personal preference, I go to work making your dreams come true.
  • Seasonal and Holiday Decorating you have always wanted but just couldn’t figure out how to pull it off or don’t have time…Let me help!!!

Home should be welcoming and inviting to you, your family, and your guests. It should tantalize all your senses so you crave to be there…

Your HOME, Let’s Create it Together!!!

preview

Love Lee   Logo

13912342_10204986796549643_3844331040066393600_n